There is a lot of things to do in the summer apart from enjoying the peaceful tranquillity in Kolforsen. Summers in Sweden can get hot, sometimes above the 30s, but is most of the time averaging around the 20s. As the sun rises at around 4 am and doesn’t go down until late evening there is no worry about not getting enough D-vitamins.
The Swedish “right to roam” gives you the right to walk in forest and cross another person’s land with the motto "do not disturb, do not destroy".
SWESCOT Svenska Stugor AB is not liable and take no responsibility for any injuries or damages caused when doing any activities and urge every guest to consider health and safety at all time.
If you need help from us, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Swimming in a lake comes naturally to Swedes as there is ca 100,000 lakes in the country and they are clean and safe to swim in. One kilometre from the cottage you have a perfect place for swimming with a small sand beach and a lawn as well. There is a shallow area (how shallow depends on water level) for young children to swim in (of course with adult supervision), as well as deep parts. Note: Near the rapid there are some underwater currents.
Because of the ever-changing water levels, we recommend NO diving due to rocks under water. The water may feel cold at first, but it soon subsides.
Swim toys are in the storage behind K43.
If you want try swimming elsewhere there are plenty of lakes in and around Gävle, Sandviken and Ockelbo (all within 30 mins driving) or you can swim in the Baltic Sea, we recommend the beaches outside Hudiksvall.
Canoe or Rowing
Included in the rental (shared with other guests) are a canoe and rowing boats (some life jackets are in the storage at K43, but not for all guests). The canoe & rowing boats are moored at the lakeside area in Kolforsen.
If you are looking for some more adventurous then we suggest that you rent canoes at Ockelbo Camping Tel +4670-665 3492 and paddle to Kolforsen.
It takes anything from 4-6 hours to paddle depending on how fast you are (and how many pauses you take), and you will pass two rapids. Why not end with a hot tub and sauna and a BBQ at the timber grill?
There is a lovely timber grill with a roof at the lakeside area that is wonderful for barbequing and with the long days you can be here for hours. The timber grill is open for everyone.
Alternatively, you can use the Barbecue Hut behind K43 or there are BBQ’s at each cottage.
You pick up free wood in the wood shed at the carport at K43, but you need your own matches and kindling.
Fancy catching your own fish supper?
Included in the rental is some fishing equipment (shared with other guests) so you can catch your evening dinner down at the lakeside area in Kolforsen – 1 km from cottage. Pike and perch are common fish as well as roach and carp beam.
If you would like the help of a professional, then we recommend www.widmarksvildmarksfiske.com.
Sauna & Hot Tub
The hot tub and sauna is located by the lake, ca 1 km away from the cottage.
It is an absolute wonderful experience and when it gets too hot the lake will cool you down.
The hot tub and sauna is owned by the Village Council.
Please contact Arja Löthberg on mobile number +4673-064 2968 or email address firstname.lastname@example.org for availability and costs.
If you are an experienced boat engine driver and used to navigating on lakes, our guests can rent a raft (can sit up to 8 people) from us – email email@example.com for details.
Included with the raft is a very silent electric motor with 2 batteries – the rule is that when the first battery is empty you head back.
You start at the lakeside area in Kolforsen.
You can spend the day silently cruising and taking the time to take in the scenery, spotting wildlife, fishing and perhaps seeing the sunset on this beautiful lake.
There is plenty of space outside your cottage so why not try some outdoor games such as the medieval game of Kubb that can be dated back to the Viking Age (use Google for the rules), or garden Yatzy.
We store outdoor games in the storage at K43.
In addition, there is football, badminton, etc.
Around the cottage there is plenty of walking opportunities on quiet forest roads.
If you fancy something more strenuous Gästrikeleden is a 270-km long walking trail made up of several different sections around this county showing off the wonderful nature, but also its connection to the iron industry of old.
Part of this walk goes through Rönnåsen which is a mountain near Ockelbo, which it takes ca 30 mins to drive to.
Mushroom & Berry Picking
The forests around Kolforsen are full of mushrooms and berries late Summer, early Autumn.
If you want we can organise guided tour to find the right type of mushrooms (edible, not poisonous) and show the best berry picking places. Afterwards we can help you make jam or fungus stew on what you have found, which makes a great end to a wonderful day.
There are bikes as part of the rental of all sizes and shapes – for young and old (shared with other guests). There are even some helmets there but of course not for everyone. The forest roads around Kolforsen are good to cycle on.
If you are looking for more adventurous cycling, then we recommend mountain biking in Högbo – 45 min drive from Kolforsen on road 272 south.
See more at this webside www.hogbobrukshotell.se/mtb where you can also rent the bikes.
Horse Riding Adventure
In Stråtjära you can take a tour on a horse back through wonderful traditional Swedish landscape. See more at www.stallstratjara.se
It takes 40 mins to drive to Stråtjära on road 272 North.
Neighbouring the cottage is a hobby farm. Here you find sheep, rabbits and hens and sometimes pigs and cows.
The sheep love crackers and the hens eat anything you give them.
The rabbits love raw carrots or crackers.
There are 2 elk parks near the cottage – at both places you see elks but in different ways.
Ockelbo Elk park – north of Ockelbo is an elk park where you walk around on accessible roads and see the elks in large pens, so it is perfect for children in a buggy or people in wheelchairs or with strollers. Website is www.algparken.se. It takes ca 20 mins to drive there.
Kybacka Elk park – www.kybacka.se
A bit further away (driving time is 50 mins to south of Valbo) is an elk park where you walk in to the elks with a guide just like a safari and with all the excitement that a real-life encounter with a wild animal can bring.
Furuvik Amusement Park
Furuvik is 10 km south of Gävle and it takes approx. 50 min to drive there from Kolforsen. You can also get there by train www.x-trafik.se
We like Furuvik because as an amusement park it offers a variety of things to do so everyone gets their fill of excitement as it offers concerts, rides, animals and an adventure swimming pool.
See more information here on www.furuvik.se
If you don’t fancy meeting the wild animals in the wild, but still would like to see them, we recommend a visit to Järvzoo in Järvsö. It takes 1,45 hours to drive there on road 272 north and 83, but you can also get there by train from Ockelbo (www.x-trafik.se).
The website is www.jarvzoo.se.
Here you can see Swedish version of the “Big 5”, i.e. wolf, bear, lynx, fox and wolverine. There are also many other Nordic animals such as reindeer, elk and musk ox.
We like this zoo because there is a 3-km wooden walk-way, so you walk above the animals and the journey to the zoo takes you through traditional Swedish landscape.
North of Sandviken you find Högbo Bruk (40 mins from Kolforsen on road 272 south), which offers a unique combination of nature, activities and cultural history.
Here you can find something for everyone, big and small. Visit the craftsmen who have their businesses open year-round (e.g. fragrance shop, iron smith, glass-blowing). The mansions, the mill, the stables and the park give Högbo its character and reminders of the past (Iron Kingdom). A walk in the area will show you many buildings from old.
For children there is a good playground, small animal park, a lake to swim in, miniature golf and much more. Högbo Qvarn and the Golf Club offers great food.
See more on www.hogbobruk.se
Take a trip to the 10th century and meet real Vikings. You will hear tales from viking time and see how the vikings lived.
For 2 weeks in July even real Vikings are living there.
The place is Årsjögård in Årsunda (south of Sandviken on road 272) and it takes 1 hour to drive here.
See more on www.arsundaviking.se
UNESCO World Heritage
Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland are farms in Hälsingland (neighbouring county), with preserved cultural and historical value.
Seven of them have been nominated by UNESCO as a world heritage site, but there are 41 in total.
On this website you can read more www.regiongavleborg.se/Halsingegardar
We recommend taking a day driving around and visiting some of them as it will take you through some very traditional Swedish landscape.
Remnants of Scandinavia’s Viking past are scattered throughout the countryside.
According to the Swedish National Heritage Board, there are about 7,000 runic inscriptions in the world, of which roughly half are Viking Age runestones.
Runestones were most commonly raised as memorials to deceased relatives and friends, but they were not burial markers. Instead they were often placed close to roads or other communication routes.
Runestones are the oldest existing original works of writing in Scandinavia.
This runestone is located opposite the church in central Ockelbo. It has several illustrations including one depicting Sigurd the legendary dragon slayer.
We recommend this 6-km old fashioned steam-train journey through beautiful landscape. Old and young will like it. Starts in Jädraås, which is 20 km west of Ockelbo. See more on www.jtj.org
Also worthwhile is a visit to the Train Museum in Gävle ca 40 mins drive on E4 south.
The Swedish Railway Museum collection consists of over 300 vehicles from the mid-1800s to the present day and includes Prins August, which is the world's oldest operable locomotive.
More information can be found here: www.jarnvagsmuseet.se
If you fancy going on a 55-km train track through Swedish nature at its best on a draisine then visitwww.dellenbanan.se
It takes 1.5-2 hours to drive to where you start – Delsbo - depending on whether you take the scenic route (road 272) or the motorway (E4).
You can book half day, full day, evening tour and even a picnic basket.
On the cost near Hudiksvall is a peninsula called Hölick on Hornslandet that we warmly recommend a visit to. It takes 2 hours to drive there going north on E4.
Here you can visit deep caves (google “hölickgrottorna” and you learn that at 1340m they are Europe’s second longest system of bed rock caves).
For eating there is either the café at the fishing village or the restaurant called “Veranda”. You could also swim in the Baltic Sea– and yes the water is baltic (Scottish for cold)!
Limön Boat Cruise
The Limö boat starts from Södra Skeppsbron in Gävle (40 mins drive on E4 south) and goes both to Furuvik and Limön (an island) in the summer and also does prawn and tacos trips during the autumn.
See more on www.limotrafiken.com
On the island Limön you can swim, fish, BBQ, walk on nature trails, look at the old light house and visit the café during the summer. It is an attractive part of Gävle archipelago.
There are many different plants on the island and some of them you can’t find further up north.
You can only get to the island by boat.
Ockelbo’s famous gardens - www.wij.se.
It takes ca 20 mins to drive to Wij Gardens and it is near the centre of Ockelbo.
The gardens and various buildings spread around the Manor are amazingly beautiful and well cared for by a large team of young, passionate gardeners, and there are a few incredible things to see: design gardens recreating the main ecosystems of the region, a rose garden, an aromatic garden, an old mill turbine, a few bucolic barns in the middle of dream fields, not to mention some hundred-years old trees... a beautiful park to visit with or without kids.
We may not be garden enthusiasts ourselves, but we go here often to sample the lunch buffet which is very good.
In Axmar see the industrial history in the form of a preserved hut with two ovens and a park with the ruins of the oldest mill in the 1670s.
The mill was founded in 1671, was destroyed by Russian troops in 1721, but was then built up again. It stands as a stately monument from the ironwork's time.
Guided tours www.axmarbruk.se
We recommend combining it with a visit to the fish restaurant Axmar Brygga – www.axmarbrygga.se
Given Scandinavia’s long, dark winters, it’s not surprising that the arrival of summer is a big deal throughout the Nordic countries. In Sweden, Midsummer’s Eve is one of the most important days of the year, rivaling Christmas with its festive spirit and traditions.
The focus of Midsummer celebrations is the maypole (or Midsummer pole) decorated with greenery and flowers.
Today’s organized Swedish Midsummer festivals typically include exhibitions of folk dancing in traditional costumes, as well as ring dances and games for people of all ages to join in.
Midsummer is celebrated at the following places where both Furuvik and Högbo gets really crowded whilst Wij is a smaller venue.
Wij Gardens, in Ockelbo www.wij.se 30 mins to drive to it.
Furuvik, south of Gävle www.furuvik.se 50 mins to drive to it.
Högbo Bruk, north of Sandviken www.hogbobruk.se 45 mins to drive to it
No Midsummer celebration is complete without Små grodorna, a dancing game in which people of all ages hop around the pole while singing about little frogs. The goofiness is part of the fun!
For unmarried girls, it’s said that if you pick seven types of flowers and place them under your pillow, you’ll dream of your future partner.
Gävle's Old Town
There are cobbled streets, some with patterns dating back to the Middle Ages. The buildings are from the 18th century, and many of the city's artists live here.
Snus-Majas tomt by Övre Bergsgatan is a great starting point for a stroll through Gamla Gefle.. Right alongside is Majas Kaffestuga café and restaurant Söderhielmska Gården www.soderhielmska.se
Also pay a visit to the Joe Hill museum www.joehill.se to find out more about this man who was born in Gävle, emigrated to America, organized IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) and was then executed for it in 1915.
Bear spotting with Wild Nordic
Wild Nordic can arrange an overnight stay in their hide nearby in Järbo, ca 45 mins away west of Ockelbo.
The hide is on a small hill and has views in three directions. In the mossy pine forest with large boulders, a bear can pop up at any time.
Besides bears, great spotted woodpecker, grey-headed woodpecker and the jay often turn up. Sometimes a buzzard or goshawk may even land. A fox could tiptoe past and sometimes a black woodpecker sits in the pines around the hide.
The hide contains windows / photo openings and large bunk beds with pillows and blankets and a simple toilet.
Beaver Safari with WildSweden
Travelling further afield (2,5 hours drive to Skinnskatteberg) WildSweden can arrange a Beaver Safari. You begin your adventure with an introduction to beavers as well as practical guidelines on how to act to increase your chances to see these animals in the wild.
Did you know that a Beaver lodge can be as tall as a human and that it can cut a big tree with its bare teeth? You will soon see why beavers are called the engineers of the forest.
The lake that is chosen is ideal for beaver watching... you will soon see why!
Day Trip to Stockholm
Stockholm is a beautiful city and as it is built on 7 islands the closeness to water and abundance of boats makes it an ideal place for strolling around looking at the marine life.
It takes ca 2,5 hour to drive to Stockholm on the E4 south, but taking the train is also a good alternative, www.sj.se
As Stockholm is the capital of Sweden there is so much to see so we recommend that you read up on Stockholm yourself, but our favourite places are:
Skansen www.skansen.se is an out-door museum showing off Sweden from animals to farmhouses.
Junibacken www.junibacken.se is as close as you can get to Pippi Longstocking without travelling for 8 hours, excellent for small children.
Island Hopping with 24,000 islands in the Stockholm archipelago and so many boat cruises to choose from it is better that you make up your own mind. For instance, you can do a day trip to Birka in Lake Mälaren (Sweden’s first town; Viking of course), you can pick a brunch or lunch cruise or you can visit all the castles. You can even take a boat trip to Finland, but you won’t be back for 2 days
Gröna Lund www.gronalund.com is an amusement park on the island of Djurgården. If a visit to Furuvik made you want to go on even more scary and exhilarating rides, then Gröna Lund is the place.
Gamla Stan the old town remains as it was founded in the 13th century and is the birthplace of Stockholm. Here is the Royal Palace, plenty of museums, shops, bars and restaurants, but we like the most just walking around the narrow roads and alleys.
Elk Safari with Nordic Discovery
You can also book an elk safari with Nordic Discovery, based in Skinnskatteberg (ca 2.5- hour drive south-west).
An experienced and knowledgeable elk guide will let you know about the elk and many other wild animals in the forest.
The hike is not physically demanding but you must tread very carefully and with as little noise as possible during the 1-1.5-hour hike.
This elk experience is different to the one in Kybacka as here you meet the elks in total wilderness.